Coaches look to senior for team leadership
With the sun beaming on the court, senior Ashley Zamarripa, ’19, picks up her racket for one last season. She hopes to bring leadership to a younger team and lead them in a Godly way. This will only be Zamarripa’s second year of playing tennis but she has taken lessons during the offseason.
“I started playing tennis my junior year,” Zamarripa said. “I joined tennis because Alina Davila told me they didn’t have very many players and she wanted to try it out. I promised her I would go to one practice but only one and after that one practice I really enjoyed it so I joined the team. My favorite part of tennis is how relaxing it is, the sport itself is not a super stressful sport. This season I would like to get close with my team since it is my last year and win as many games as I can.”
Head coach Daniel Jessing will return for his second season as the girl’s tennis head coach. Jessing sees Zamarripa becoming one of the leaders of this year’s team.
“What isn’t special about Ashley Zamarripa,” Jessing said. “She is exactly the kind of player a coach hopes to get. She shows up every day and works to get better. She joined tennis later in her high school career but she’s worked hard and has even taken private lessons to make sure she could be a player that made an impact on this team. As a senior this year we rely on her both on the court and off as she leads by example. I love watching Ashley compete because she has this drive to win every single point and she never gives in. She grinds out every match and almost always comes out victorious. I’m predicting a very big senior season for Ashley.”
Tennis teammate Hannah Villines, ‘22, is excited to play with Zamarripa this season. Villines appreciates all of Zamarripa’s help and enjoys practicing with her.
“I’ve known Ashley for a lot of years now, but we really only started to become close around the beginning of my eighth-grade year,” Villines said. “Ashley has helped me a lot more with tennis than she probably realizes. She inspires me so much because when it comes to the sport, she works her butt off, whether she would care to admit it or not. She also helps me a lot with not letting me get too frustrated with myself. She tends to know the right things to say, in the right times. My favorite part of tennis involving Ashley is for sure how much we laugh. She’s literally like a sister to me and she’s one of my favorite people in the world, tennis would be nowhere near the same without her there.”
Assistant tennis coach and head coach of the girl’s basketball team Robert Foshee has known and coached Zamarripa for six years. Foshee wants Zamarripa to leave the school with a big impact and make a difference in the kingdom of God.
“I have been coaching Ashley since the seventh grade year,” Foshee said. “My favorite part of coaching her is she has a strong work ethic and always gives high effort in games and practices. She is very humble and does a great job including the younger players and mentoring them. In the six years, I’ve coached her, which includes hundreds of hours, she has only missed a handful of practices. For her last year, I want her to compete at a high level, leave a legacy of hard work for her teammates and make a difference in God’s kingdom.”
Another one of Zamarripa’s longtime teammate Macie Thompson, ‘19, has known her since the 6th grade. Thompson loves all of the time they have spent together whether it’s during practice or hanging out.
“I have known Ashley since the sixth grade but we really truly became close friends the end of our 8th-grade year,” Thompson said. “She is very dedicated to anything she starts such as tennis, basketball, ensemble, and so many other things. My favorite part about basketball with Ashley is how we make it so fun and can laugh at our mistakes and find joy in them. Another thing I love about it is that when either one of us is down we know how to make each other laugh which eases our feelings of nervousness, sadness, or just a bad day vibes. I am so blessed and thankful that I get to call her friend! I have loved watching her grow in tennis and seeing her love for the sport grow every single day.”
Zamarripa will attend Clovis Community College and then plans to transfer to Fresno State. She will continue to play tennis as a hobby with her family and friends.
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